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Post Operative Instructions

It's important that you remember it will take some time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. Here are some steps you can take to make that adjustment smoother and more comfortable for you, and to ensure the success of your new smile.

Prevention

Most of the time prevention lacks any follow up care, and therefore no post operative instructions are needed. Sometimes, however if you have not had your teeth cleaned in over one year the tissues will be very sore. The cleanings that are preventive in nature remove tartar or plaque deposits on the teeth, so we do go below the gum line to remove those deposits. Slight soreness in the gum tissue is normal, feel free to take Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen as directed until soreness disappears, usually after the second day. Please call the office if sensitivity has been prolonged for more than 2-3 days.

Fillings

For most fillings, anesthetic is used, the anesthetic will generally last 2-4 hours depending on where the work was completed, so be careful eating because you may bite your lip or your tongue. The anesthetic injection site will be sore for up to two weeks, especially the lower jaw if the filling was a lower tooth. If the soreness is prolonged for longer than two weeks or if you have trouble opening your mouth, please call the office for an appointment. For silver fillings we ask you not to eat anything sticky or chewy for 24 hours, to allow the filling to set up completely. For tooth colored fillings, the material is set up as soon as you leave the office, so you are fine to eat/chew, just be careful because you may still be numb. With any replacement or new filling a slight amount of cold sensitivity is normal, if the cold sensitivity lingers or if hot sensitivity occurs, please call the office. Biting sensitivity is not normal, please give the office a call for an appointment, you will most likely need the filling adjusted.

Cosmetic Dentistry

For veneer or crown procedures, anesthetic is used, the anesthetic will generally last 2-4 hours depending on where the work was completed, so be careful eating because you may bite your lip or your tongue. The anesthetic injection site will be sore for up to two weeks, especially the lower jaw if the crown or veneer was on a lower tooth. You have temporary crowns/veneers in place that are designed to protect the tooth from injury and or insult. These temporaries are very fragile and can fracture, we ask you to take it easy biting/chewing where those temporaries are in place. Please stay away from hard (carrots/nuts/ice/peanut brittle) and chewy (caramel/taffy/candy) foods because they can break and/or pull your temporary off the tooth. If the temporary does come “un-glued” please call our office for an appointment. A slight amount of tooth sensitivity is expected after the preparation appointment, but usually disappears the following day. The temporaries also do not fit as perfect as the permanent crown/veneer will, so cold sensitivity will be normal. Please call our office if any sensitivity lasts longer than 4-5 days.

Crowns and Bridges

For veneer or crown or bridge procedures, anesthetic is used, the anesthetic will generally last 2-4 hours depending on where the work was completed, so be careful eating because you may bite your lip or your tongue. The anesthetic injection site will be sore for up to two weeks, especially the lower jaw if the crown or bridge was on a lower tooth. You have temporary crowns that are designed to protect the tooth from injury and or insult. These temporaries are very fragile and can fracture, we ask you to take it easy biting/chewing where those temporaries are in place. Please stay away from hard (carrots/nuts/ice/peanut brittle) and chewy (caramel/taffy/candy) foods because they can break and/or pull your temporary off the tooth. If the temporary does come “un-glued” please call our office for an appointment. A slight amount of tooth sensitivity is expected after the preparation appointment, but usually disappears the following day. The temporaries also do not fit as perfect as the permanent crown/bridge will, so cold sensitivity will be normal. Please call our office if any sensitivity lasts longer than 4-5 days.

Root Canal Therapy

For root canal procedures, anesthetic is used, the anesthetic will generally last 2-4 hours depending on where the work was completed, so be careful eating because you may bite your lip or your tongue. The anesthetic injection site will be sore for up to two weeks, especially the lower jaw if the root canal was on a lower tooth. Tooth and gum soreness at the root canal site is expected due to the extensive nature of the root canal. Most of the time, the medications that we use in the tooth will make the infected tooth feel much better than it did before. Take it easy on that tooth for the rest of the day. Remember that a tooth that has had a root canal has lost all blood supply and nutrients to the tooth, therefore the tooth will become brittle and can break. Please stay away from hard/sticky foods until a crown or an onlay is placed on the tooth. If the sensitivity/tenderness prolongs longer than 3-4 days, please call the office for an appointment.

Dentures and Partials

There are generally 3-4 appointments involved with a new denture or partial. The final appointment is the time when the new denture/partial is inserted. We custom fit each denture/partial, but most of the time soreness develops under the prosthetic. The soreness will not go away unless the denture or partial is adjusted. Please give our office a call for an appointment for this adjustment if necessary.

Surgery and Implants

For implant or surgical procedures, anesthetic is used, the anesthetic will generally last 2-4 hours depending on where the work was completed, so be careful eating because you may bite your lip or your tongue. The anesthetic injection site will be sore for up to two weeks, especially the lower jaw if the surgery was on a lower tooth. Post surgery we generally ask that the patient to keep the gauze in place for 30 minutes to one hour, in order to help the blood clot. After that you can replace the gauze with more gauze, but after four hours, the bleeding usually has ceased. If bleeding is continued, please bite into a wet tea bag on the site for 2 minutes and then remove. Please do not smoke for 48 hours after the surgery nor drink from a straw for 48 hours. Please do not forcefully spit for one day. Avoid alcoholic beverages, carbonated beverages, very hot or very cold foods for one day. Please brush your teeth, but take care in the area of the surgery. Do use ice packs after day one, usually 30 minutes on the cheek and then 30 minutes off. Please eat soft, mild foods for one day after the surgery. It is normal for pain to occur for a few days in the area of the surgery; please take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain control. Please call our office if the pain is prolonged for longer than 3-4 days or the pain goes away and then returns worse around day 4-5.

Children's Dentistry

Most procedures with regards to children’s dentistry are fairly simple. If they were to have a filling or crown, please refer to above sections for post operative instructions. However if your child has had a sealant placed recently, they may notice that their bite feels different, this is normal and the sealant material will reduce over time. If more soreness is experienced, please give our office a call.

Gum Disease

For deep cleaning procedures, anesthetic is used, the anesthetic will generally last 2-4 hours depending on where the work was completed, so be careful eating because you may bite your lip or your tongue. The anesthetic injection site will be sore for up to two weeks, especially the lower jaw if the deep cleaning was on the lower arch. Generally, soreness and cold sensitivity will be felt for a few days after the deep cleaning. Please feel free to take Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen as directed for the discomfort. If the soreness and/or the cold sensitivity lingers for longer than two weeks, please give our office a call for an appointment.

Invisalign

Invisalign procedures are usually completed without complications, but some patients will experience slight tooth soreness as the teeth move into their new positions. Usually this soreness is relieved by taking Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen prior to placing the new aligner, and place the new aligner at bedtime. If an attachment does come off, or you have extensive soreness, please give our office a call for an appointment.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide procedures are completely reversible, which makes this a very efficient analgesic. Most patients will be given 5 full minutes of pure oxygen to ensure all of the nitrous is out of the blood stream, to avoid nausea. But some patients will still feel woozy or nauseous after the procedure and this is normal, but will subside after a few minutes.

Bite Guards

Bite guards or splints will cause the bite to be a little different than you are used to, therefore it will take a few days to a few weeks to get used to the change. Tooth soreness is not uncommon, but please call the office if the tooth soreness lasts longer than a few days. Our goal is to make the bite guard or splint as comfortable as possible.

Invisalign is the clear alternative to braces.

Invisalign® is the clear way of achieving all the benefits of traditional braces without anyone having to know you're wearing braces.

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